You already know that the cost of running your real estate business didn't end with paying for your schooling, your license, and your various association fees. You also have to spend money promoting your services.
But what's the smartest way to spend that money? Should you spring for ads in a homes magazine? Should you run weekly ads in the newspaper or on the radio or TV? Should you buy pens, notepads, and calendars imprinted with your name and hand them out? Should you sponsor a sports team at the local high school?
I believe you should spend a little of it on a well-written real estate agent bio.
You know you need a real estate website.
After all, the majority of consumers now go first to the web when they want to find a home or choose an agent. But when it comes to real estate websites, there are differences of opinion. Many agents create real estate sites that are all about the area, while others post custom copy that outlines the service that clients can expect. (Those are my favorites.)
Either way, because a good website is focused on the customer and his or her needs, the only places that a visitor can really learn anything that helps them "connect" with an agent is through their blog and their personal bio, or "about me" page. And even some blogs don't offer a clue, because they're all about new listings or the community.
The chance to "connect" is the reason why having a well written agent bio is so important.
Unfortunately, many agents use this space merely to list education and designations, and to repeat those tired old platitudes about "excellent customer service." I think that's a mistake - and a lost opportunity.
This is the spot where you have a chance to reveal the "real you." Here you can tie your past experiences and present passions into the service you provide.
Why does that matter? First, because your past experiences lend proof of why you're so good at what you do. Think how many of the traits of a top real estate agent were probably developed while pursuing earlier jobs or careers - or even while managing families. How about: active listening, patience, the ability to teach & explain, record keeping, organization, punctuality, mathematics, negotiation, and leadership.
And then there's knowledge you bring from past experiences - for instance, decorating or house construction.
Next, your present passions give insight into your personality and your value system.
Weaving your past and present experiences into your personal bio allows your prospects to consciously or subconsciously identify with you - and choose you because of that identification.
We humans tend to naturally trust people when we see them as somehow "like" us. And it doesn't take something dramatic to form that connection. For some, just learning that an agent gets up early to hit the golf course, work out at the gym, or go horseback riding before work could be the "I choose you" trigger. For others, it could be a shared interest in animal rescue, adult literacy, or feeding the hungry.
It could be something as simple as having children of a similar age or sharing an interest in gourmet cooking.
That connection will often be the deciding factor that draws clients to you - already predisposed to like and trust you.
That's almost as good as a personal referral.
In addition, once your bio is written, you'll use it on your website, on blogs like Active Rain or Real Estate Marbles, in your listing presentation, and on brochures. The best part of all, you pay for it one time, and keep using it until you have something to add.
For these reasons, investing in a well-written agent bio can be far more valuable than an ad in a homes magazine, or a series of 30-second spots on radio or TV - and it costs less, too!
Marte Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter who specializes in writing for real estate and related industries.
She'll help you with one letter, or an entire marketing plan. For Real Estate agents and brokers who are ready to get full value from their websites, she'll be happy to put together an entire package - from the web copy to the lead generation packages that make an agent's phone ring.